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Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training

Planning for post-secondary education

Preparing Yourself | NDIS and Further Education ResourceCareer Planning | Choosing a Course | Choosing Where to Study | Financial Considerations | Preparation and Bridging Programs | Modes of Study | Who to contact @ uni | Who to contact @ TAFE

Successfully entering post-secondary education takes planning, preparation and careful consideration, for all students, and is crucially important for students with disability. There are many things to take into account, and plenty of practical steps that a student can take to ensure that they are the best prepared they can be when they take the big step into tertiary education.


Source: Youth and Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) 

Identifying and managing your own expectations of study is an important aspect of your success. This process can and should begin in the preparation for study stage and be closely monitored throughout by you, the student.

The expectation for most students is an investment of two to five years to earn a specific qualification before transitioning into employment after graduation. In some students’ lives, however, the reality does not match the expectation.

As a student with disability and/or medical condition, you may experience some setbacks or difficulties along your path. These ‘speed humps’ may include time off studies for:

  • ill health
  • hospitalisation or medical treatment
  • stress and anxiety (which may or may not be related directly to your disability)

Your study schedule may not always follow a straightforward, sequential pathway, and you may need to incorporate changes to your plan. These changes may involve an alteration to your mode of study, type of academic/study-related adjustment, timeline for course completion, and your personal and career goals.

Allow copious amounts of flexibility and be kind to yourself.

Access Plans

As a student with disability you have the right to access and participate in education and training in the same way as any other students. Under the Disability Discrimination Act all education and training service providers are required to ensure students with disability have access to education on an equal basis as students without disability.  You may require some study related reasonable adjustments or supports to assist you with your post-secondary education or training.

Most providers will have a disability practitioner employed in the student support services area to assist develop an access plan (e.g. Learning Access Plan (LAP) or Integration Plan) that will outline the reasonable adjustments and support to assist you participate in your studies. Find out more about access plans